The alcohol in the park issue is dead, and I can't say how pleased I am, not just for the decision itself, but about the precedents this whole incident has set.
City council has determined (by not determining anything the issue was never brought to a vote) that Berry's will not get to serve alcohol in Bresson Park.
I, for one, will remember this come election day. I would like to thank council for getting the ball rolling, and put them on notice: Follow through, or else.
After this decision, the city better not show anyone preferential treatment, give anyone a competitive advantage or cut any business a "sweet deal."
That means the revolving loan fund is kaput. That means Bethany Dentler and the whole Norwalk Economic Development Corporation had better close up shop, because what will she do all day long if government won't be handing out tax abatements and grants to attract businesses?
Come to think of it, if the city wants to be consistent, it had better stop upkeeping the sewer and water systems. After all, that's giving all those businesses with city sewer and water a competitive advantage over those businesses without. And while we're at it, ditto for roads and sidewalks.
Furthermore, I am glad to see that council is ready to crack down on everything that can be misused, like drinking. I can't wait to be saved from myself, and I can't wait to see what's next. My suggestion: guns.
Congress can't get it together on gun control. But we didn't let the fact that they dropped the ball on prohibition stop us, so I don't see why we should let them spoil our fun taking away everyone's guns. Now, I know, it's a "sporting arm" and it's guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, but sorry, precedent has spoken. No guns.
For that matter more people die every year from car accidents than from shootings, so: No cars.
Even more people die from the various ill-effects of obesity, so McDonald's, Wendy's and Taco Bell: Adios.
Now I know some of you spoil-sports out there are going to be concerned about losing all that business. But businesses love safety, security and a clear and reliable system of laws. Just wait for the flood of new business mostly in the form of a black market. And to those nay-sayers out there, let me pre-emptively label you anti-business.
I agreed with everyone who was concerned about showing Berry's special treatment just because it is a business. Therefore, I am pleased to see that the restaurant is in fact being singled out as a second-class citizen. Sure Berry's, its owners, and its employees have all paid their taxes just like everyone else, but why should they get to use the public parks for whatever they want?
Individuals should be tacitly allowed to drink in the parks (which happens all the time) because they have no incentive to keep their behavior under control they can simply walk away whenever they want. But Berry's lives next to Bresson Park. Their name is on a lease. They have an inherent responsibility to keep things under control. Good thing we nipped that in the bud.
Perhaps the precedent I am most looking forward to the city enforcing is the one about freedom and rights in a democratic society. The old model was, at least ideally, that in a free society, the government needed compelling, unquestionable reasons of public safety to say 'no' to anything. The burden of proof was on them.
Now, thank goodness, that will all change. Now, assume the answer is 'no,' until the government feels like telling you otherwise. And if you're very nice, the government may allow you to fill out the green forms in triplicate on the even days of the month as long as you are over the age of 25 otherwise it's the goldenrod forms in quadruplicate.
Then, maybe, the city will let you step outside your house ... in four to six weeks, unless they're experiencing a backlog, and then it's in eight to 12.
Many people feel we dodged a bullet on the the alcohol in the park issue. It's far more than that. It's precedent.